Thursday, August 31, 2006

Visiting My Uncle

Stained glass window at Deaconness Hospital.

For the second time in two days, I visited my uncle in the hospital. This time last week we thought he was going to leave us, and now the doctors are planning for his return home. Through prayer, he recovers. As we left the hospital, I stopped in the chapel to offer thanks to God.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Great Life

Rhonda and I by the temple doors.

Almost eight years ago my wife and I attended Spectrum, an experiential life training based in Boise, Idaho. It's hard to explain our Spectrum experience, except to say it had a powerful effect on my life. During the training, I got to examine my belief system and the ways I tend to interact with the world around me. I released old pain, challenged limiting fixed beliefs, accepted a new level of personal accountability, and learned new ways of experiencing the world. I found a well of spirituality and beauty I never knew existed.

Unfortunately, Spectrum went out of business a few years ago.

Then last year, a good friend completed a similar training in Utah known as the Great Life Foundation. I went back to staff a Level I training, and this year I went back to staff a Level II experience. It was more wonderful than I remember. I'm so thankful for the training in my life.

I chose a picture of my wife and I for this blog entry because the training brought us closer together as a couple. In fact, we will attend a couple's training in just a few weeks. I'll keep you all posted as the couple's weekend approaches.

The Temple Doors

Rhonda and McKenna by the temple doors.

Whitney on the temple steps.

My family spent a few hours touring the outside of the Salt Lake Temple and got some great pictures by the temple doors.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

My family heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the LDS Conference Center during a special interfaith service held in honor of the American Legion. We stayed long enough to hear Rhonda's favorite: the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Conference Center

My children and I reflected in the mirrors...

A statue of Lehi and the Tree of Life.

My family paid a visit to the LDS Conference Center on Sunday morning to attend a special prayer service.

Ensign Peak

My family with Salt Lake City in the background.

During our visit to Utah, we received news that my uncle Richard was gravely ill. His daughter called me and asked me to sing his songs on Ensign Peak, overlooking the Salt Lake skyline. Richard used to live in Salt Lake when he was young, and often climbed the hills above the city.

Park City

When we weren't staying in Farmington, we stayed at a condominium in Park City, Utah. The place was absolutely fabulous. We had a heated pool, six hot tubs, waterfalls, a gameroom, an internet lounge, and a giant chess set. Dakota learned to play chessm. The kids were in paradise.


During our visit to Temple Square, we saw a young family trying to photograph their baby daughter Jenna. They spent several minutes calling her name, trying to get her to smile for the camera. She never did cooperate, but she was still amazingly cute. She was too precious to not include on my blog.

Salt Lake Temple

The sun shining above the Salt Lake Temple.

The Salt Lake Temple surrounded with American flags.

No trip to Salt Lake City is complete without a visit to Temple Square. The day we went, we saw hundreds of American flags on the east lawn in honor of the American Legion conference held in the city this year.

Bountiful Temple

Standing by the entrance of the Bountiful Temple.

The Bountiful Temple at night.

During my Great Life staffing experience, my family stayed with friends in the town of Farmington, Utah, north of Salt Lake City. As I drove home every night, I passed the Bountiful Temple, shining on a hill above the city. It really is a magnificent sight.

Lima by Day

After I awoke in the morning, I resumed my walk feeling confident the party-goers from the night before would be sleeping soundly. It is a pleasant little town, after all.

Lima by Night

Once again, we stopped in Lima, Montana on our way to Salt Lake City. I thought it would be safe to take a walk across town in the cool night air, but as I reached one of the old main streets, I came upon a series of drinking establishments filled with weekend party-goers. A carload of scowling men drove by slowly. Suddenly I felt like an unwelcome outsider and decided to return to my motel room.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Checking In

Hello everyone!!! I'm sending you all a short note from Park City, Utah where my family and I are staying in a beautiful condominium. I just finished staffing a Level II training at the Great Life Foundation in Salt Lake City. It was awesome!!! I haven't felt this connected to my higher purpose since I did the Spectrum training 7 years ago. I feel so amazingly grateful, powerful, and alive.

I will post more about my experience on Wednesday.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Checking Out

Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I got this shot of the sunset as I left Geiger this evening. As I drove home, I thought about our drive to Salt Lake City tomorrow afternoon. Our family will take a short vacation, and I will not be posting on this blog for about a week. I wish you all peace for the journey, and look forward to posting again when I return.

Geiger Corrections

Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I visited an old friend at Geiger Corrections Center. As we spoke through the glass, he wore the classic black and white striped prison uniform. We talked about all the changes he wants to make after his release, but I expressed some doubt. "You've said this before. Why is this time different?" I don't want to be negative, but I do want him to think about how to make better choices than before.

Earlier this week, I visited another friend at a drug and alcohol treatment center. I guess I see these visits as part of my "ministry."

My Refuge

Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The Little Spokane River is my refuge away from the world, only about a mile from my house, and tucked away from the chaos of modern life. I took a hike by the river this morning to clear my head and just relax. All kinds of animals and birds make their home on the surrounding flood plain: deer, geese, heron, moose, etc. The animals keep me company and send their blessing.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Attracting Abundance

Chris Dietzel presenting on attracting abundance...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Chris Dietzel presented a seminar today about Attracting Abundance Easily, in cooperation with Summit Quest. My wife took an active role sponsoring and facilitating the event. I did not attend the whole seminar, but I did watch a video presentation of a film called "The Secret." It was fascinating.

The film had a deep impact on my thinking. It spoke of all the ways we attract things into our lives based on what we dedicate most of our thinking to. Ironically, we attract negative things into our lives by obsessing and worrying over them. I really believe the message of this film. I will look more deeply into how I think and feel about things I create in my life. I can especially see how painful events in my result from hardened patterns of thought from a previous time. I'm changing my thinking in major ways and thus creating greater abundance.

For more information on the film click below:

The Secret

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Family Walk

Under the street lamp...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

My mood lifted somewhat by this evening when my daughter suggested we take a walk together as a family. We walked up by the Whitworth "Back 40," and then stopped to pose for this picture under a weeping willow illuminated by a street lamp. The photograph was also my daughter's idea.

Thank You Colville

Judy, Mary, Barry, and Annie.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Many thanks to Annie, Mary, Judy, Suzann, and all the other faculty, staff, and students at the Colville ABE for making my experience so amazing. I can say without hesitation that my work at Colville was the most enjoyable and memorable of any job I've had. Thank you and many blessings to you all.


This photo is a few days old, but it reflects my feeling of melancholy this evening...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

This has been kind of a sad day for me. First, I'm feeling some sense of withdrawal from the emotional high of my retreat last weekend. Second, it was my last day working at the Colville campus. I accepted a position in Spokane, which is an answer to prayer, but I will sincerely miss my co-workers in Colville. I left them a written message on the blackboard: "There is no goodbye." I can speak the words, but I still can't stop this feeling of melancholy.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Journey of the Cross

Inge with the cross...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The journey continues... Inge asked me to take the cross her grandson made to the sweat lodge and ask for a blessing. As I said before, she plans to take the cross back to Yugoslavia where she lived in a concentration camp as a little girl. As agreed, I prayed over the cross and returned it to her this afternoon. It was wrapped in a black cloth in rememberance of her grandmother. She leaves in another few days and will have a remarkable journey of healing.

An Oasis

A retreat in the Utah desert.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I will say a little more about the men's retreat this last weekend in Utah. As I mentioned before, my feelings are still very tender, but I want people to know something of my experience. Together with more than 30 other men, I explored issues related to personal healing as a man. So many issues came up for me, and with the support of the other participants, I faced them all. It is very liberating to face one's deepest fear, rage, and shame. When emotional pain leaves the body, an opening of spirit often appears, filled with joy. That was my experience.

I had a lot of anxiety in the days leading up to the retreat. In fact, it was so bad I seriously considered backing out. But then I had a dream:

I dreamed I was flying over something like a barren wilderness or a dry, hostile desert. The jagged, desolate, and sun-scorched terrain stretched as far as the eye could see, but then I arrived at an oasis in the middle of the wilderness. Living water sprang from the ground and nurtured a vibrant, garden-like jungle. It reminded me of a sparkling green-blue jewel, surrounded by empty wasteland.

The Voice spoke to me and said, "Do not be afraid. Your experience at the retreat will be like a fountain of cool water in the midst of a desert."

Ever since I was a child, I was taught to trust my dreams, so I put my anxieties aside and went to Utah.

I can only say the prophecy of my dream came true. We initially arrived with some fear and trepidation, but by the second day, I saw a visible transformation come over everyone present. I saw an abundance of peace, love, and spirit on the faces of all the other men. When I saw it, I said to myself, "This is the oasis. It's an oasis of spirit."

It's even more interesting to note that when I got home, I was looking at the one picture I took near the retreat center (shown at the top of this entry), and I realized we were indeed in the middle of a desert, and a stream flowed through the area creating an island of green vegetation in the middle of the wilderness. On both a physical and spiritual level, that place filled my soul with hope for the journey.

Men's Retreat

My wife organizes women’s retreats several times a year in various places around the Pacific Northwest. They rent cabins or condos and engage in deep emotional process work. They often use the natural beauty of their surroundings to compliment their inner work, such as the ocean shore, a mountain trail, or a grove of trees. It really is a wonderful thing she does.

For years we talked about starting up a men’s retreat or perhaps a couples retreat. Something always held me back.

Something changed for me last week after I finished a men’s retreat near Coalville, Utah. I had the opportunity to engage in my own healing process around important issues in my life; and for the first time I feel open to creating retreats for men and couples. I think I may have to do a little more work on myself, but I’m willing to look more deeply at the possibility of helping others through this journey of life.

As for my experience at the retreat, usually I like to be very open about my personal life, but I’m still processing everything that happened to me. It’s all still very tender. Maybe as time goes by I’ll feel better about sharing my experience of healing and growth.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Healing the Horrors of War

Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

My step-mother is planning a trip to the former Yugoslavia where she will revisit her childhood home and make amends with painful memories from her past. Her family descended from ethnic Germans who settled the region some time in the 1700s. They would have received shelter within Germany at the close of the Second World War, but for various personal or family reasons, they remained in Yugoslavia. When the communist regime took power under Tito, ethnic Germans were sorely persecuted and imprisoned in secret concentration camps. As a little girl, she witnessed firsthand the horrors of starvation, forced labor, and death.

This is really her story to tell, but on some level she invited me to share the story when she asked me to help her pray for healing as she returns to the land of her birth. She asked me to pray over several items she plans to leave at a spot where her relatives suffered and died. Her grandson is holding these items in the photograph above. The objects she asked me to bless resemble ones her brother made when he was also a small child protecting her in the camp.

With her permission, I will talk about this more; perhaps after she returns.


Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I drove to Colville this morning under a clear blue sky, but by the time I left work this afternoon at 2:00, dark billowing clouds were moving up the valley and blocking out the sun. The Emergency Broadcast System interrupted the radio program three times during my hour-long drive to announce severe thunderstorm warnings in various parts of Eastern Washington and North Idaho. The most dire warning seemed to center around Bonners Ferry where people were warned to stay indoors and keep away from windows. We saw some lightning on our drive and these magnificent clouds pictured here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Mother's Words

My brother Brad took this photograph of our mom several years ago during a trip to Paris and Amsterdam.

I recently had the awkward experience of receiving criticism regarding my personal character. Though I felt somewhat distressed to hear specific comments made about me, a difficult situation turned into an unlikely blessing when my mother spoke in my defense. She said, "You wouldn't always choose your relatives as your friends, but I would choose Barry as my friend."

She went on to describe my relationship with my children. She said (and I paraphrase), "I came from a family where people sat at the table and no words were exchanged. On the other hand, Barry's family sits at the table and the children talk with one another; they laugh, and make things, and do things together as a family. They go on trips and take family walks. Barry teaches them about his culture and spirituality. His family is beautiful. I love to be around them."

She also described my personal character as an individual: "Barry is a fighter. He always tries to do the best in life."

We so rarely hear these kinds of words in our day to day living. We get so caught up in our mundane affairs, we often forget to express words of caring or support. But when it really matters, my family rises up to support me. Ironically, I may never have heard those words were it not for the criticism I received earlier in the day. Hearing her say those things brought tears to my eyes. It really was affirming and beautiful.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My Crazy Weekend

Rhonda on the Monroe Street Bridge.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Barry on the Monroe Street Bridge.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

What a crazy weekend... on Saturday I visited an old friend at Geiger Correctional Facility, then less than an hour later, I visited another friend at a drug and alcohol rehab. That evening I invited Rhonda to have dinner with me, and asked her to please not invite any homeless people, felons, transients, or drug addicts. I love all my people, and I consider these visits a kind of ministry, but sometimes I just need time for me.

Well anyway, we had dinner downtwon and took a walk across the Monroe Street Bridge (hence the photographs) and then through Riverfront Park; but when we arrived at the park, we found ourselves in the middle of Hempfest...quite unintentionally, mind you. Some guy was hollering over a loudspeaker, like some kind of hippie evangelist, promoting the legalization of marijuana. We didn't stay.

On Sunday, I went back to Geiger to see the same friend and came home to work on a paper, but then my computer stopped functioning and I spent literally 6 or 7 hours trying to figure out the problem. Things worked out relatively well, and now I'm quite exhausted. Off to bed, and hopefully I'll start a better week.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Huckleberry Mountains

Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

My son and I went back to Monumental Mountain to pick huckleberries for the coming ceremonial season. It is an important and enjoyable resonsibility. Many times I felt the huckleberry spirits looking on with approval and admiration. It was a wonderful experience, especially since I got to share it with Dakota.

The Catepillar

The Catepillar...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

When I was picking berries on Monumental Mountain, I saw this amazing little catepillar. Actually, it was kind of large and grotesquely fascinating. I would say it was about 3 inches long and at least an inch thick. Can anyone identify it?

Camping on the Mountain

Dakota tends the campfire...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

I've owed Dakota a camping trip for three years and finally fulfilled my obligation. We stayed one night on Monumental Mountain for our annual huckleberry expedition.

Meyers Falls

The upper part of Meyers Falls.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Inge brought Dakota and I to see the upper portion of Meyers Falls. The falls are an important part of the town's history. Before the construction of Grand Coulee Dam, the current town of Kettle Falls was named Meyers Falls. The old town of Kettle Falls was removed when the flood waters of Lake Roosevelt approached the level of the town (though it never actually flooded the townsite). Most of the residents removed to the town of Meyers Falls and then renamed the town Kettle Falls. Confusing? Somewhat. Anyway, there was some resentment over the change, and apparently the Meyers family moved away in protest.

When I was a kid, I used to hike by the falls with my dad and Inge. Nowadays the power company blocked off the major portion of the falls with a massive fence. No one can enter to appreciate the beauty of that location. Sadly, Like historic Kettle Falls, yet another natural wonder surrenders to the "progress" of man.


Jonas and Heidi...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

On Wednesday night Dakota and I stayed over at Kettle Falls with my step-mother Inge. We visit so rarely, and I see her daughter Heidi even less. We got a short visit with Heidi and her son Jonas. As I introduced Dakota, I realized how far we drifted apart since my father died. I hope we can change the course of previous actions and heal the separation between us.

Imagine the Falls

On the bridge...
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Standing on the bridge overlooking the placid waters of the Columbia River/Lake Roosevelt, I try to imagine what Kettle Falls must have been in the days of its glory; Indian people gathered from all around to participate in the great salmon fishery. What I wouldn't give to see the falls just once in my life.

Spirit of the Mission

My students walking up to Saint Paul's Mission.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Dakota at Saint Paul's Mission.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

On Wednesday, I led a group of community college students on a special tour of Saint Paul's Mission at Kettle Falls. I presented the cultural and spiritual history of the falls and discussed the impact of white settlement in the region. The event culminated with a special presentation in the old log church, including several traditional songs from the Plateau Salish people. I sang two hymns in Salish and then one traditional song.

The feeling in that old church was electric. When I started singing the traditional song, several eagles flew up to the mission door and circled the building. A feeling of power fell over me and all around me. Every time I closed my eyes, I could hear the foot steps of people dancing. It was truly amazing.

Apparently, I was not the only one who felt moved by the experience. Several other people told me they heard dancing, and one Christian couple said they heard me pleading to the Father using God's ancient name Yahweh. They said they felt the Holy Ghost fall on me and that my singing reminded them of when they witnessed people speaking in tongues.

It was a sacred experience for all of us.

A great deal of historical trauma lingers at the site of Saint Paul's, from the loss of Kettle Falls, to a history of coerced conversion to Catholicism, and yet that place still holds unimaginable power from the ancestors and our Creator.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Meeting Jack Miller

Jack Miller, Democratic Candidate.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

A co-worker from the community college in Colville arranged from me to have dinner this afternoon with Jack Miller, a Democrat running for 7th District Representative, Position 1. I tend to have no shortage of political opinions, but only rarely have I ever expressed those opinions in action. Of course, even now my actions are somewhat limited, but Mr. Miller and I discussed ways to increase voter turnout on Indian reservations in his district, namely the Spokane, Colville, and Kalispel.

We discussed a number of important political issues and cultural characteristics of Native American voters, but more than anything, I was moved by Mr. Miller's concern for average citizens. At the end of our meeting, I asked permission to post his picture on my blog, along with a few comments about our meeting. I felt very hesitant to ask, but he responded with surprising openness. "Government is the people's business," he said, "People have a right to know what we're talking about."

What a refreshing perspective in an age of jaded partisanship.

To learn more about Jack Miller's campaign, click the link below.

Elect Jack Miller


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